Wanderlodge Owners Group  
BuyByeBlueBird.com
Donate

Go Back   Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Electrical

Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

Site Search:
Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-18-2009
GPSGary GPSGary is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Enroute to Costa Rica
Posts: 164
Default Elect. sys. remodel - suggestions wanted

I'm in the early stages of a complete remodel on my 84FC35SB and first up is the electrical system.


One thing that would make the design simpler is to disconnect the two 30A runs and only use the 50A connector with a “cheater” adapter on the 50A cord.


If I understand this correctly the only downside to this is if you hook up to shore power you will be limited to 30A MAX and never have the infrequently used option of connecting to two separate 30A supplies. Is this the ONLY downside? Have I over looked something?


I'm also convinced I'm going to need a separate house battery bank for the type of travel we anticipate so I will have one alternator, one shore hook-up and one generator (currently being refurbed for reliable operation). If anyone have done a similar remodel, I would absolutely love for you to share what you did. When I look at the options I'm overwhelmed by the choices and I've got to solidify this design soon.


Regards,
GPSGary
1984FC35SB
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-18-2009
iamflagman's Avatar
iamflagman iamflagman is offline
(1943-2018) Forum Co-founder/Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hopkins
Posts: 11,506
Default It works for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by GPSGary View Post
I'm in the early stages of a complete remodel on my 84FC35SB and first up is the electrical system.


One thing that would make the design simpler is to disconnect the two 30A runs and only use the 50A connector with a “cheater” adapter on the 50A cord.


If I understand this correctly the only downside to this is if you hook up to shore power you will be limited to 30A MAX and never have the infrequently used option of connecting to two separate 30A supplies. Is this the ONLY downside? Have I over looked something?


I'm also convinced I'm going to need a separate house battery bank for the type of travel we anticipate so I will have one alternator, one shore hook-up and one generator (currently being refurbed for reliable operation). If anyone have done a similar remodel, I would absolutely love for you to share what you did. When I look at the options I'm overwhelmed by the choices and I've got to solidify this design soon.


Regards,
GPSGary
1984FC35SB
Gary,

That is the way that I have my 'Bird, one 50 amp hookup and if there is only a 30 amp hookup, I use a DOGBONE 30-50 adapter and then do power management to make sure that I don't go over 30 amps load, this works great for me.

Check out my photo web site through the link in my signature, you will see the separate battery bank design I use, since I do a lot of dry camping at races, etc.

I completely disconnected the two 30 amp receptacles and in my case I used the separate 30 amp breaker box after removing the breakers, to install my Progressive Industries 50 amp Hardwired Power Management System in there.
__________________

JOHN FINN
FORUM MODERATOR-ADMINISTRATOR
1982 FC35RB
I'm NO EXPERT, but I did stay in the FINN'S INN EXPRESS last night
HOPKINS, SOUTH CAROLINA
VISIT THE FINN'S INN EXPRESS REMODELING ADVENTURE AND TECH. TIPS
I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
Visit the WILD HARE RACING website
REMEMBER 9/11
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-18-2009
peteaeonix's Avatar
peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
Former Bird Owner
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ridgefield
Posts: 2,010
Default Shore Power Cords and Adapters

I agree that your proposal to get rid of the dual 30A cables is a reasonable choice. If you use a "dog bone" connecter on a 50A cable, it limits you to 30A from the shore service. The dog bone is wired to share the 30 amps across the two 50 amp legs. Keep in mind that this is 30% of the normal 50A power. (The 50A is measured at 240VAC and the 30A is measured at 120VAC.) However, I've found that this is not that much of a problem in most cases. It does require using some common sense in power usage (e.g. use 1 AC or 1 heavy draw appliance (microwave) at any one time). Beyond that, there's no real problem with just using 30A -- and with a 50A cord using a dog bone connector you don't have to worry about which leg has power, as both legs will be hot.

A "cheater" adaptor is a different gadget. It's basically a 50A socket with two 30A cords/plugs exiting. Unlike the common dog bone adapter it supplies power to the two circuit legs independently. The theory is that you can plug into a 30A and a 20A to get 50% of your power as you would with a true 50A connection. This usually doesn't work as all power pedestals in RV parks have ground fault detectors which will sense the unbalanced neutral (inherent) with this connection and trip. If you have access to two 30A outlets, however, the cheater box will work just fine (giving you 30A on each of the 50A legs for about 60% of full power). From a practical standpoint, I've actually used my cheater box only twice in 2-1/2 years with my coach. (Note: you'll want the agreement of the RV park management before hooking up to multiple outlets on different pedestals -- and most aren't too keen on the idea (as you'll be using more electricity and raising their costs). I was only able to use my cheater box in a couple of cases where I'd reserved a 50A space and (for whatever reason) when I arrived, the 50A was available, so I was able to set up with an extension cord+the cheater box and draw from two pedestals.

To see a sample of a dog bone adapter:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...-adapters/4134

To see a sample of a "cheater box" adapter:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...-adapter/25774

I don't necessarily recommend Camping World (where I linked) but they do have convenient listings of these devices. The $20 they charge for a dog bone is about typical, but I think I paid about $60 instead of $100 for my cheater box from somewhere else. (Perhaps from an eBay vendor.)
__________________

Pete Masterson
(former) 95 WBDA 42'
(now) 2011 Roadtrek RS-Adventerous
Ridgefield, WA
aeonix1@me.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-18-2009
iamflagman's Avatar
iamflagman iamflagman is offline
(1943-2018) Forum Co-founder/Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hopkins
Posts: 11,506
Default Check Campground Power Pedistal

Quote:
Originally Posted by peteaeonix View Post
......................A "cheater" adaptor is a different gadget. It's basically a 50A socket with two 30A cords/plugs exiting. Unlike the common dog bone adapter it supplies power to the two circuit legs independently. The theory is that you can plug into a 30A and a 20A to get 50% of your power as you would with a true 50A connection...........................

Also before using a CHEATER on a campground power pedestal 20 amp receptacle you have to make sure that it is wired independently of the 30 amp receptacle and not through it. With a multimeter or a test light plugged into the 20 amp receptacle, turn OFF the 30 amp circuit breaker, if the test light stays ON, or you get a correct voltage reading on the multimeter, then it is wired separately. I have been to some campgrounds where the 20 amp is wired through the 30 amp, they do this to either keep you from USING A CHEATER or the wiring at that sites power pedistal is NOT ADEQUATE to carry more than a 30 amp load.
__________________

JOHN FINN
FORUM MODERATOR-ADMINISTRATOR
1982 FC35RB
I'm NO EXPERT, but I did stay in the FINN'S INN EXPRESS last night
HOPKINS, SOUTH CAROLINA
VISIT THE FINN'S INN EXPRESS REMODELING ADVENTURE AND TECH. TIPS
I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
Visit the WILD HARE RACING website
REMEMBER 9/11
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-18-2009
Bill Pape's Avatar
Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Commerce
Posts: 11,152
Default Shore Power Cords and House Batteries

It is unanimous, we never use the two 30's.
We have a 50 amp red cord and a 50 amp lighter weight wire cord with a 30 A male plug, this it can be adapted to a 110V 20 amp. Just learn to manage power,The bird will trip a 110 V GFI , this will need to be modified. But not a major issue.

We have 6 , 6volt batteries all tied together. This is never a problem and we dry camp a lot , Our Onan generator has a separate start battery and an alternator. The shore power and gennie power will always recharge the batteries.
__________________
Bill & Patty
1988 FC, Silver Edition
Commerce, Michigan
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-18-2009
iamflagman's Avatar
iamflagman iamflagman is offline
(1943-2018) Forum Co-founder/Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hopkins
Posts: 11,506
Default GFI Tripping Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pape View Post
................The bird will trip a 110 V GFI , this will need to be modified. But not a major issue................
Here is some information about the GFI TRIPPING ISSUE that I added to me web site, Steve Harrie gets the credit for the photos and the write up,

Some of the earlier model 'Birds had this panel located inside of the 'Bird, mine is located in the galley area and it has two volt meters along side of it, mine was much easter to remove than Steve's was.

Doug at PMMI is very easy to work with check out PMMI Electronics, REVERSE POLARITY INDICATOR, THE ULTIMATE HORN


__________________

JOHN FINN
FORUM MODERATOR-ADMINISTRATOR
1982 FC35RB
I'm NO EXPERT, but I did stay in the FINN'S INN EXPRESS last night
HOPKINS, SOUTH CAROLINA
VISIT THE FINN'S INN EXPRESS REMODELING ADVENTURE AND TECH. TIPS
I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
Visit the WILD HARE RACING website
REMEMBER 9/11
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-19-2009
Bill Pape's Avatar
Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Commerce
Posts: 11,152
Default GFI Tripping Issue

John,

Thanks for posting the GFI pictures and info.
PMMI will rebuild the Polarity indicator circuit board.
Or, if you are handy with a low wattage soldering iron, PMMI will supply
the light emitting diodes and resistors. Call Doug
__________________
Bill & Patty
1988 FC, Silver Edition
Commerce, Michigan
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-19-2009
GPSGary GPSGary is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Enroute to Costa Rica
Posts: 164
Default 50A rotary switch

RE: 1984FCSB

I'm trying to trace out why I trip GFIs in the 50A position and not with one leg of the 30A cable hooked up.

I've got the dinette seat off and am confronted by two "mystery" components.

Anyone tell me what the little black plastic box (about 5 wires w/ a red and white wire on side terminals) mounted on top of the 50A switch housing is?

There is a 10A relay in the compartment with the switch housing mounted on a socket. Any clues on it's function would also be appreciated.

Regards,
GPSGary
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-19-2009
hturner 12
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default 50 amp power

Quote:
Originally Posted by GPSGary View Post
RE: 1984FCSB

I'm trying to trace out why I trip GFIs in the 50A position and not with one leg of the 30A cable hooked up.

I've got the dinette seat off and am confronted by two "mystery" components.

Anyone tell me what the little black plastic box (about 5 wires w/ a red and white wire on side terminals) mounted on top of the 50A switch housing is?

There is a 10A relay in the compartment with the switch housing mounted on a socket. Any clues on it's function would also be appreciated.

Regards,
GPSGary
Gary
On our first trip out the genset ran great no problems, got to the campground as soon as I plugged into 50 shore power I got a hot to neutral short indication. Called the plant talked to Jessie in tech support he told me "that there were a lot of problems with the switch in the PT it is located just forward of the Rt wheel well under the copilot seat and there had been a mod to install drains and repair damaged areas". If you have never taken part of your bird apart in the summer in Biloxi MS with no power you have not lived. After taking the seat out, taking carpet loose, taking out a whole bunch of screws and a few other thing. I was able to get the switch out. My problem was the safeline module that was connected to the shore power hots on one side and the neutral on the other. cut all of the problems. Now I have to do a walk around and see that big yellow cord hanging out of the electrical box. Do not know how all of the S.O.B driver prevent ripping park power systems out without those two light on the instrument panel letting them know .
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-19-2009
GPSGary GPSGary is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Enroute to Costa Rica
Posts: 164
Default 50A switch box service

Mine is under the dinette seat on the side of the door stairwell.

I've got the top of the seat off.
What I have in there is one chassis heater, the safe and the black metal housing for the 50A switch.

I've unscrewed everything connecting the black box and it is loose but the switch panel and box both only move about an inch.

Is there some trick to getting into this box or getting the box out?
I can't even get the face plate off ???

Is it Sawz-all time?

Regards,
GPSGary
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
coachs wanted Randy Dupree Coaches Wanted 10 01-25-2009 02:46 AM
Wanted Tow Dolly for Mini White Hat Guy Parts Wanted 16 10-16-2008 09:23 AM
Jeep Wrangler tow bar wanted KERLEY Parts Wanted 6 10-14-2008 08:11 PM
Emblems Wanted Green_Bird Parts Wanted 3 05-16-2008 08:33 AM
40 to 42 WL WB wanted Bruce Coaches Wanted 5 03-04-2008 01:01 AM

Web Search:

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.